ZAMBOANGA CITY: A Filipino Muslim drowned after jumping from a ferry carrying hundreds of deportees in Sandakan City in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah.
A Malaysian newspaper, The Star, also reported the incident on Saturday, March 18, and has identified the victim as Razmel Abdul Rahim, 31.
It said Rahim's body was recovered on Friday, March 17, following a massive search.
"The drowned body of Razmel Abdul Rahim was discovered by marine police at 8:39 a.m. on Friday, March 17 near the Karamunting second jetty location, about 600 m from where he jumped into the sea," the report said.
The report, quoting a witness, said Rahim jumped out from the fourth-level window of the Philippine ferry MV Antonia on Wednesday, March 15.
"It was reported that an integrated search via surface rescue in boats was mounted after a witness, the ferry manager, saw the victim jumping out from the fourth level window of the vessel around 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15," it said.
It was unclear whether Rahim was evading deportation or had committed suicide.
The ferry was carrying 653 Filipino deportees and was heading to Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.
There was no immediate statement from the Philippine authorities on the death of Rahim, whose place of origin remains unknown.
Deportees were taken to the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) Processing Center for Displaced Persons (PCDP) in Barangay Talon-Talon where they will be processed for eventual return to their respective places of origin.
The deportees were immediately subjected to medical checkups by the Department of Health while the DSWD provided food, transportation and other personal needs.
The longest time the deportees will stay at the PCDP is one week and the shortest is two days before they will be sent home.
He said the individuals were deported because they have no travel and working documents amid a crackdown by the Malaysian government on illegal migrants.
With reports from PNA2023-03-18T16:13:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd